Professor Govindan Parayil, an Indian national, joined the United Nations University as Vice-Rector in August 2008, and as Director of United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in January 2009. He currently serves as both Director of UNU-IAS and Vice-Rector of UNU. Prior to joining the UNU, he had been serving as full Professor with the Centre for Technology, Innovation and Culture, University of Oslo (Norway) since 2004, where his research focus was on science, technology, innovation and sustainability. He served concurrently as Director of Research and Leader of the Innovation Group for two years. Prior to that, he was the Head of the Information and Communications Management Programme and member of the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences at the National University of Singapore (2001-2004). He was on the faculty of the Division of Social Sciences of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology from 1994 to 2001. His previous academic affiliations include Cornell University, Illinois Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), and the University of Sulaimaniyah (Iraq).
Prof. Parayil holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Electrical Engineering) from the University of Calicut (India), a Master of Science degree (Science, Technology and Values) from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (USA), a Master of Arts degree (Development Economics) from American University (USA), and a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (USA). He authored Conceptualizing Technological Change (1999) and edited Kerala: The Development Experience (2000) and Political Economy and Information Capitalism in India (2006), and has written numerous book chapters and articles in international journals. His newest book (co-edited with A.P. D'Costa) on The New Asian Innovation Dynamics: China and India in Perspective was published in January 2009. He is active in research and advocacy work in science, technology and innovation for sustainable societies